Kindle Fire HDX Vs. iPad Mini 2 Vs. Google Nexus 7

The Battle of the 7-inch Tablets

Ipad2 Comparison
Ipad2. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Staff Editorial #: 457316526

The iPad Mini 2, Kindle Fire HDX and Google Nexus 7 each have their strong points, and each has their negatives, but between the iPad Mini 2, Kindle Fire HDX and Google Nexus 7, which is the best tablet?

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon ignited the 7-inch tablet war with the original Kindle Fire, and the Kindle Fire HDX certainly takes it up a notch. Amazon's tablet is powered by a 2.2 Ghz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM for apps, which gives it plenty of power to run any Android app, plus some elbow room to comfortably multitask. The new 1920x1200 resolution display packs in 323 pixels per inch (PPI), giving it virtually the same screen quality as both the Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini 2.

One advantage the Kindle Fire has had is the Amazon Appstore. The Google Play marketplace has no testing and very little controls for the type of apps that appear in the store, which means you have to be more careful when downloading apps. Amazon's Appstore solves this by taking on the Apple App Store model of testing apps before allowing them to be released.

Amazon also introduced the "Mayday" button on Kindle Fire HDX, which provides live tech support on your device for free. This makes the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX an attractive choice for those who are new to tablets and aren't quite as accustomed to the technology.

Google Nexus 7 (2013)

Google's 2013 version of the Nexus 7 is a technological match for the Kindle Fire HDX. The newest Nexus 7 is powered by a 1.51 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2 GB of RAM, and like the Kindle Fire HDX, it has a 1900x1200 resolution display.

But don't let the numbers fool you. While the Kindle Fire HDX has a 2.2 GHz processor compared to the Nexus 7's 1.51 GHz processor, both tablets are very competitive in terms of processing power, with the Kindle Fire HDX getting a slight advantage.

The biggest selling point of the Nexus 7 is that it is a true Android device. Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets run a modified version of Android that locks the user into Amazon's services. The Google Nexus 7 allows users to freely access Google Play as their preferred marketplace, install Amazon's Appstore, or other services.

Android's big advantage over Apple's iOS devices is its open nature, allowing a lot more freedom for the user control how the device is used. This is also the biggest advantage over the Kindle Fire HDX, which limits users through the Kindle OS.

iPad Mini 2

The iPad Mini 2 is a substantial upgrade over the original iPad Mini. It is powered by a 64-bit A7 dual-core chip that rivals the processing power of its competitors in this matchup. The iPad Mini 2 also gained a 2048x1536 resolution Retina Display, which, combined with the larger 7.9-inch screen size, gives the iPad Mini's roughly the same pixels-per-inch as the Kindle Fire HDX and Google Nexus 7.

The iPad Mini 2 only has 1 GB of RAM for applications, but given iOS's limitations on multitasking, this is enough for the tablet to run smoothly.

The iPad Mini 2's higher price tag may make it a tougher sell for budget-conscious shoppers, but the advantages of the iOS ecosystem more than make up for it. Simply put, the iPad Mini 2 is the most supported tablet of the three by way of the Apple App Store, which offers a very wide range of apps and accessories built specifically for the iPad.

The iPad Mini line has always had the advantage of being slightly larger, with the 7.9-inch display amounting to over 30% more screen real estate than its 7-inch counterparts. 

The iPad Mini 2 comes with numerous free apps from Apple, not the least of which include Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, Apple's ?word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software. It also includes ?FaceTime for video conferencing and ?Siri as a voice recognition personal assistant, plus a photo editor, video editor and a virtual music studio.

And the Winner Is...

It's hard not to put the iPad Mini 2 at the top of this three-way tablet matchup. While the cost of iPads in general, is a disadvantage for some, the iPad Mini 2 packs a lot of power for its price. iPads have always been easy to use, so the iPad Mini 2 can satisfy new users as well as experienced users. And with so much support from the Apple ecosystem of devices and the App Store, it delivers the best tablet experience among these three.